The custom of saluting/embracing ladies by their relatives and friends was introduced, it is said, by the early Romans, not out of respect originally, but to find by their breath whether they had been drinking wine, this being criminal for women to do, as it sometimes led to adultery. - Joseph Haydn, Dictionary of Dates
 
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We've got 4 pint jugs to take away real ale and cider!
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I'm often asked what cider I would recommend, my reply has always been "sorry I can't, all palates are different - taste them and make up your own mind." It doesn't sound that helpful a response but having spent many years travelling and supping all kinds of brews, a taster will get you past the problem I experienced of having a drop of cider in front of you, bought with your own hard-earned cash and feeling upset as you really couldn't stomach finishing it.

We're deeply indebted to Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw for their new look at describing cider which has a profile that incorporates sweetness, acidity and tannin in various amounts all at the same time.

Like wine, you tend to see cider classified as sweet, medium or dry.  That's fine so far as it goes, but it really doesn't begin to describe the full range and variety cider has to offer. 

The cider taste profile can be found in their new books which we would thoroughly recommend being; The Worlds Best Cider and The Guide to Welsh Perry & Cider, we've also been allowed to include an extract in the section at the end of this page.

You can help those still in a quandary by adding your own cider comments and there's guidance from Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw from the Welsh Cider & Perry Guide.  Here is information on how cider is actually made from WikiPedia. To help you distinguish between Welsh and other cider & perry varieties we've used the Welsh forms for Seidr and Perai!

Steve



Burp Perry 6.5% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

ImageKnown locally (in Worcestershire - the home of the perry) as Burp (Barkers Upsy-daisy Real Perry), Barkers 2013 Vintage Perry at 6.5%abv is looking good and drinking well!

Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.

Taste Notes: Made from Barkers 2013 pears this vintage perry is a corker!

  • Colour - Light Straw
  • Sweetness - 2
  • Acidity - 2
  • Tannin - 2
 
Ty Gwyn Med Dabinett 6% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

ImageTy Gwyn Cider are based in Pontrilas, Herefordshire, just a few feet away from the Welsh border.

This is a lovely med cider at 6% abv and made from classic Dabinett cider apples.

Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.

Taste Notes: Made from a single variety of cider apple the Dabinett. It's an easy drinking, medium classic cider.

  • Colour - Straw
  • Sweetness - 2
  • Acidity - 2
  • Tannin - 2
 
Abrahalls Med Cider 6.5% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

ImageAbrahalls Medium (AM) Cider 6.5% is made by Celtic Marches on the farm where the family has been growing fruit and hops for over 100 years. 

Skilfully crafted AM cider is a well rounded,easy to drink, still medium-sweet cider, made on the family farm from 100% cider apples grown in their Herefordshire cider apple orchards.

The cider is made from a blend of bitter sweet and sharp cider apples – Dabinett, Michelin and a smattering of Kingston Black. The fruit in their orchards is allowed to grow and fully ripen bringing out a full flavour in the cider. It contains no artificial sweeteners.

Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.

 
Winkleigh Sams Med 6.2% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

CiderWinkleigh Sam’s Cider has a refreshing, clean and refined flavour. It is a full bodied cider that has been hand crafted. Made from specially selected apples, sourced from their local growers to make a quality cider.

Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.

Taste Notes: Made from a blend of cider apples Sam's Traditional is a clear, golden, easy drinking, medium Devon cider with a hint of caramel.

  • Colour - Golden
  • Sweetness - 3
  • Acidity - 1
  • Tannin - 2.5
 
Cornish Orchard Vintage 7.2% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

Cornish Orchards medium dry cider created from apples selected for their soft tannins and traditional flavour. This classic cider is matured over the winter months, to bestow vintage qualities.

altCornish Orchards Ciders are made on the Duchy of Cornwall farm Westnorth Manor Farm in Duloe Cornwall.  A Duchy of Cornwall Cornish Orchards Project supported the restoration of old orchards across Cornwall or advised on planting new ones with old varieties. Local nurseries were commissioned to propagate over 60 varieties of apple tree, all traditionally grown in Cornwall.

Some of the varieties include Ellison's Orange, Beauty of Bath, Cornish Longstem, Tommy Knight and Colloggett Pippin.  Fresh picked under ripe fruit gave a sharp, clean juice. Apples that were ripe or over ripe produced a smoother, more mellow result.

Not only is it satisfying using West North Manor Farms own fruit, but being able to provide a source of income to farmers whose old orchards can still produce a crop is wonderful.

Taste Notes [under construction]: Made from a blend of cider apples. A lovely easy drinking medium-dry cider with a nice dry finish.

  • Colour - ?Amber
  • Sweetness - ?3
  • Acidity - ?3
  • Tannin - ?1
 
Santa's Sleigh'd DeeSiedr 6.9% PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Cider - Real Ciders

A new venture in cider down on Deeside, Flintshire, by father & son Richard & Scott Johnson. Richard has taken the cider named in his honour and crafted a truly magnificent festive drink in Santa's Sleigh'd. At 6.9% it contains a variety of flavours taking you from and initial sweetness through to a lovely medium finish.

Taste Notes: With about 10% Dabinett and a mixture of local apples from our last Cider Pressing. A lovely honeyed nose and an initial sweet rounded flavour that develops through fruit and a nice medium finish in the mouth until the warmth of the spices finishes the experience. A terrific drink with a long follow through and perhaps needing some respect at 6.9%

  • Colour - Amber
  • Sweetness - 3
  • Acidity - 2
  • Tannin - 2
 
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We're deeply indebted to Pete Brown and Bill Bradshaw for their new look at describing cider which has a profile that will incorporate sweetness, acidity and tannin in various amounts all at the same time.

Like wine, you tend to see cider classified as sweet, medium or dry.  That's fine so far as it goes, but it really doesn't begin to describe the full range and variety cider has to offer.  The cider taste profile can be found in their new books...

 

The Cider Flavour Profile

Most ciders will have a degree of sweetness.  The sugars in the fruit ferment and turn to alcohol, and a few ciders are fully fermented with no residual sweetness left, and can be astringent to the point of chalky dryness.  But sweetness isn't just about sugar content; it's about flavour, and even a well-fermented cider may have strong notes of fruit, or even honey or vanilla.

Then, while dryness could be about the absence of sugar, it might also come from the presence of tannin, the dry, puckering compound you get in tea, red wine - and cider apples.  This gives more than one way in which you might get the balance of sweetness and dryness. [Tannin tastes dry and astringent and you can feel it specifically on the middle of your tongue and the front part of your mouth.]

Finally, like white wine, cider is often a balance between sweetness and acidity.  Acid might present itself as citrusy, tart, sourness or vinegariness.  So there are three main flavour dimensions for cider, not two.  And a given cider may be high or low in all three.

There may be secondary flavours, imparted primarily by the yeast and the aging process.  Some ciders have funky farmyard notes or hints of cheese.  Others may have an oaky note, or there may be strong caramel or buttery hints.

 

The Blue Bell Inn supports the following programmes from the The Portman Group: I'll be Des and Drink Aware

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This site is authored by Steve Marquis for the Blue Bell Inn

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